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I 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. 

Chap..-.. pyright No. 

Shelt>„.Q. r 15 



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 




CHRIST BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN 



Beautiful Bible Stories 

GEA\S TRO/n THE HOLY BOOK RESET TOR 
CHILDREN 



TANNIC E>OSTRANDER 



Author of "The New Boy at the Burke School." "Happy Hours A. B. C. 
Book," "dingles and Rhymes for All Times," and 
Other Favorite Juveniles 



WITH CHOICE ILLUSTRATIONS OE SACRED SCENES 



W. B. CONKEY COMPANY 
Chicago 






4B«83 



Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1899, 

BY W. B. CONKEY COMPANY, 

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 



TWO COPIES RECEIVED. 




SECOND COPY, 






CONTENTS. 



Adam and Eve. 

Cain and Abel. 

The Flood. 

The Tower of Babel. 

Hagar and Ishmael. 

Isaac. 

Jacob and Esau. 

Joseph, the Favorite Son. 

Moses. 

Samson. 

Ruth and Naomi. 

The Trials of Job. 

Samuel. 

The FiRSt King of Israel. 

David. 

The Death of Absalom. 

The Judgment of Solomon. 

The Twelve Tribes. 

Joash. 



Daniel. 

Esther. 

John the Baptist. 

The Infant Jesus. 

The Boyhood of Jesus. 

The Sermon on the Mount. 

Jesus Calms the Tempest. 

Raising the Daughter of Jairus. 

Feeding the Multitudes. 

" Lord, Help Me." 

The Good Samaritan. 

The Good Shepherd. 

The Home that Jesus Loved. 

The Lost Sheep. 

The Prodigal Son. 

Christ Blessing Little Children. 

Christ is Risen. 

~The Baptism of the Spirit. 

The Apostle Paul. 



List of Colored Illustrations. 



Abraham's Sacrifice. 

The Infant Jesus. 

David Watching the Sheep. 

Moses in the Bulrushes. 

Daniel in the Lions' Den. 

The Prodigal Son. 

The Good Samaritan. 

Christ Blessing Little Children. 



**#* 



Beautiful Bible Stories I 

* 

ADAM AND EVE. 

Adam and 
Eve, the first 
people upon the 
earth, were very 
beautiful and per- 
fectly pure and 
innocent. They 
lived in the lovely 
garden of Eden, 
where everything 
that they needed 
grew, and God 
had given them 
permission to eat 
of all the fruits 
and plants except 
the fruit of one 
tree in the center 
of the garden. This tree He had forbidden them 
to taste, saying that if they did they should die. 

But finally Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted 
Eve to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. The ser- 
pent told her that the fruit of the tree would give her 
knowledge, and when Eve said that God had com- 




manded them not to eat it, saying that if they 
did they should die, Satan told her that it was 
not so. 

At last Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate 
of the fruit; as soon as they had done this, how- 
ever, they commenced to be unhappy, and nothing 
seemed to them as it had before. They were no 
longer innocent, and when they heard God speak- 
ing to them, they were afraid to answer and tried 
to hide from Him, 

But no one can hide from God. Their sin was 
at once known to Him, and in punishment for it 
they were sent out from the beautiful garden and 
God placed angels called Cherubim at the en- 
trance, with flaming swords in their hands, which 
turned in every direction, so that Adam and Eve 
could not go back again. 

He made the serpent creep upon the earth, hated 
by everybody, and told Adam that he must hence- 
forth work to earn his food, and that trouble and 
sorrow should come both to himself and his wife. 

He gave them a comforting promise, however, 
that at last One should come into the world to 
conquer sin. In this promise He referred to the 
coming of Christ; but Adam and Eve were never 
again as happy as they had been before their dis- 
obedience. 



CAIN AND ABEL. 

The first little children upon the earth were 
Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain 
was the elder of the two boys, and he became a 
tiller of the soil, or farmer, like his father, Adam. 
But Abel was a shepherd. 




Abel had a gentle nature and loved God; he 
also had great faith; while, although Cain also 
worshipped God, he was not as sincere as his 
brother, and so God was not as well pleased with 
him. 

One day Abel killed a lamb and offered it up 
to God as a sacrifice, and at the same time Cain 
brought an offering of fruit. But God saw that 
Abel worshipped Him truly, while Cain did not, 



4 OB 



and He would not accept Cain's offering. This 
made Cain very angry; but God said to him, "Why 
art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance 
fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be 
accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth 
at the door." 

But Cain continued to be angry, and at last, 
when he was talking with Abel in the field, he lost 
control of himself entirely and killed his brother. 
Afterward, when the Lord asked him where Abel 
was, he answered, "I know not; am I my brother's 
keeper?" 

But God knew what Cain had done, and told 
him that because of this sin he should be a fugitive 
and a vagabond; that is, that he should wander 
about without any home, and that he should be 
disliked by all men. 

Cain cried out that his punishment was more 
than he could bear; but it was only just, for he 
was a murderer. So he went away from his 
pleasant home and his father and mother, and 
traveled to the land of Nod, which was east of 
Eden. There he married, and sons were born to 
him; but because of his great wickedness, his life 
was never a happy one. 



THE FLOOD. 

The world had grown very wicked indeed since 
the time of Adam and Eve, and the people were 
getting worse and worse instead of better, so God 




saw that He must destroy them, or all would in 
time become bad. 

There was one good man, however, named 
Noah, and God wished to spare him. So He told 




Noah that He 
would bring a 
great flood upon 
the earth and 
drown all the 
wicked people; 
but that Noah 
must build an 
ark in which he 
and his family 
should escape. 
This ark was to 
be a large, house-like boat, or ship, and God told 
His faithful servant just how to make it. 

At last all was ready, and God told Noah to 
take into the ark beasts and fowls of the air and 
creeping things of every kind, each one with its 
mate; also enough food to last for a long time, be- 
cause the flood would continue forty days and forty 
nights without ceasing, and the earth would be 
covered with water. 

Noah did in everything as God had commanded, 
and when he himself and his wife, his three sons 
and their wives, and all the creatures which were 
to be taken into the ark, were safely inside, the 
flood commenced. 

At the end of the forty days the rain ceased, and 



Noah opened the window of the ark and sent out a 
raven to see if the earth had appeared above the 
waters. The raven did not come back, so Noah 
was sure that it had found some place to light upon 
and something to eat. 

He sent forth a dove, also, which returned to the 
ark. Then he waited a number of days, and sent 
forth the dove again.; this time it returned with an 
olive leaf in its mouth. After a few more days he sent 
the dove out again, and this time it did not return; 
so Noah knew that the waters were going down. 

Later, Noah removed the covering from the 
ark, and looking out, found that the earth was dry. 
So he went out of the ark with all his family and 
the creatures that were with him, and he built an 
altar and worshipped God. 

And the Lord was pleased with Noah and blessed 
him and his sons, and promised that He would never 
again bring a flood 
upon the earth to z*,-^ 
destroy all the peo- 
ple as He had done 
before ; and in token 
of this promise He 
placed the rainbow 
in the sky after the 



rain. 




THE TOWER OF BABEL. 

The sons of Noah were named Shem, Ham and 
Japheth. These sons in turn became the fathers of 
children so that the descendants of Noah were very 
numerous. 

One of these descendants, named Nimrod, was 
a mighty hunter and a man of power and authority 
in the land, and it has even been said that the peo- 
ple worshiped him as a god. 

In those days men liked to build high towers 
reaching away up toward the heavens. Perhaps 
they were afraid of another flood, and perhaps they 
simply wished to show what they could do; but 
however that may be, ruins of towers can still be 
seen in various parts of the world, one of the most 
noted of which is that of the "Tower of Nimrod." 
It is forty feet high and stands on the top of a hill 
near the River Euphrates in Asia. 

In the time of Nimrod, the people said, "Let 
us build us a city and a tower, whose top may 
reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, 
lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the 
whole earth." So they began to build the tower, 
and they made it very strong indeed, and kept rais- 
ing it higher and higher toward the heavens, think- 
ing, Jewish tradition, or story, tells us, that they 
would have a shelter in which they would be per- 
fectly safe from any flood which might come, or 
any fire. There were some of the people also who 
wished to use the tower as a temple for the idols 



which they worshiped. Six hundred thousand 
men worked upon this wonderful tower, so the 
story goes on to say, and they kept up the work 
until the tower rose to a height of seventy miles, 
so that, toward the last, it took a year to get mate- 
rials for the work up to the top where the laborers 
were employed. Of course this story is exagge- 
rated, but without doubt the tower rose to a great 
height and was a wonderful piece of work. 

God was not pleased with what the people were 
doing, however, because they thought themselves 
so great and powerful that they had no need of Him, 
and so He put an end to their bold plans. 

Up to this time all the people of the world had 
spoken the same language ; but now, when they were 
working upon this wonderful tower, they com- 
menced to talk in different tongues so that they 
could not understand each other, and there was 
great confusion. Owing to this, they were obliged 
to give up the building of the tower, and they sep- 
arated themselves into groups, or divisions, each 
division speaking the same language, and then they 
spread out over the world, forming the various 
nations. 

The tower was called the Tower of Babel be- 
cause of the babel, or confusion, of tongues which 
had taken place there, and it was left unfinished to 
be a monument of God's power and man's weak- 
ness without Him. 

These men were skillful in building, else they 



never could have gone as far as they did in their 
stupendous work, and God was willing that they 
should exercise their skill, as He is willing that 
people shall do now ; but when they thought them- 
selves equal to Him, they learned how weak they 
really were in comparison. The story teaches the 
great lesson of dependence upon God and submis- 
sion to His will and His laws. 



HAGAR AND ISHMAEL. 

The story of Hagar and Ishmael is one of the 
strongest in the Old Testament, for it shows the 
power of a mother's love and what a true mother 
can endure for her child; while it also teaches that 
God can care for His faithful people under all cir- 
cumstances, and 
that He is able to 
change a seeming 
misfortune into a 
very great blessing. 
Ishmael was the 
son of Hagar and 
Abraham. When 
he was still a little 
boy, God com- 
manded Abraham 
to send him away 
with his mother, 
because Isaac, the 
son of Sarah and 
Abraham, was the 
rightful heir to all 
of his father's prop- 
erty and was the "true son of promise." Abraham 
did not wish to send either Hagar or Ishmael away; 
but when he believed it to be God's will he did so, 
giving them some provisions to take with them 
and saying good-bye to them very sorrowfully. 
Hagar was sad and lonely and very anxious 

40C 




when she went out into the wilderness with her 
little boy; but she journeyed on with him until he 
grew weak and faint, and the water which they 
had brought was all gone. Then when he cried 
for more and there was none to give him, she laid 
him upon the ground in the shade of a bush and 
went away by herself where she could sit down 
and hide her face and weep, for she was almost 
discouraged. She thought her dear little boy was 
going to die and that she would be left all alone in 
the world. 

But finally God sent comfort to her, and she 
believed that her son would live and that he would 
be a great man in the future. So she rose again 
with hope in her heart and went to search for 
water, which she soon found, cool and refreshing. 
She filled the bottle joyfully and took it to the boy, 
who drank it eagerly and was refreshed and able 
to go on again. 

God took care of both Hagar and Ishmael. The 
boy grew to be a man, and, living in the wilderness 
as he did, he became a great hunter and was 
skilled in all things pertaining to his wild life. 

Hagar was born in Egypt, and she wished her 
son to marry a woman from that land; so she 
found a wife for him among the Egyptian women, 
and God's promise to her was fulfilled, for her son 
became the head, or chief man, of a nation. 

If Ishmael had staid with his father and Isaac, 
his brother, the two boys would, perhaps, have 



quarreled over their inheritance, and Abraham 
would not have known how to divide it between 
them so that both would be satisfied; in any case 
they could not both have been the head of the tribe, 
or nation, after the death of their father. 

God saw all this, and because He loved Ishmael 
as well as Isaac, He sent him forth to be the foun- 
der .of another tribe. 

The story teaches this lesson, also, that although 
a child may be cast off without any rightful inherit- 
ance or even a family name, if he is brave and true 
and leads a noble life, the Lord can build up a 
name and an inheritance for hiirij and make him 
great and honored. 

When Ishmael started out into the wilderness 
with his mother, it did not seem possible that he 
would ever become a great man, and Hagar must 
have had wonderful faith in God to trust Him 
through all her trial; but she did trust Him, and 
her faith was rewarded, as true faith always will be. 



ISAAC. 

Abraham, the 
father of Isaac, was 
called "The Friend 
of God," because he 
loved the Lord so 
truly, and obeyed 
Him in all things 
without questioning. 
Abraham, with his 
family, lived in the 
land of Canaan; but 
he had not always 
lived there. He had 
' / come from a country 
where they wor- 
shiped idols, and often he had seen human beings 
offered up to these idols as sacrifices. 

As has been said, he loved God very truly and 
had perfect faith in Him; but a great trial of his 
faith was coming. God told him to take his son 
— his only son, Isaac, whom he loved better than 
his own life — and to go away to a distant moun- 
tain and there offer him up as a burnt offering. 

Of course Abraham was almost heart-broken 
when he received this command, but he never 
thought of disobeying it. So he took Isaac and 
two of his young men, and journeyed toward the 
place which God had pointed out to him. 

When they came in sight of the place, Abraham 




bade the two young men remain behind, while he 
went forward with Isaac to worship. Abraham 
gathered the wood for the burnt offering and laid 
it upon Isaac's shoulders, and with his knife in 
one hand and a little vessel containing fire in the 
other, he went forward with his son. 

As they went along, Isaac said : " Behold the 
fire and the wood ; but where is the lamb for a 
burnt offering?" 

Abraham answered: " My son, God "will provide 
Himself a lamb for a burnt offering." 

When they came to the place where the sacri- 
fice was to be offered, Abraham built an altar 
there ; then he placed the wood upon it, bound 
Isaac, who made no resistance, and laid him upon 
the altar, and was about to kill his son, when an 
angel appeared to him, and, calling him by name, 
forbade him to go on, saying that God had told 
him to sacrifice Isaac only to test his faith. 

Then Abraham saw a ram caught by the horns 
in a thicket near, and he took the ram and offered 
it up instead of his son, and they rejoiced together 
and gave thanks. 

When Isaac was older, Abraham was anxious 
that he should have a wife from among his own 
people, so he sent his chief servant back to the 
land from which he had come, to find a wife for 
Isaac. 

The servant started with his camels and attend- 
ants, and also with rich presents, to be given to the 



woman who should be chosen and to her family, 
and he prayed that God would guide him. 

The Lord heard his prayer. He met the beau- 
tiful Rebekah at a well where she had come to 
draw water, and when he asked her to give him a 
drink, she at once did as he requested, and also 
offered to draw water for his camels. This was 
the sign by which the faithful servant was to know 
the maiden whom he should choose for his mas- 
ter's wife, and when the marriage was arranged 
with her family, Rebekah went to the land of 
Canaan and became the wife of Isaac, who loved 
her very tenderly. 




JACOB AND ESAU 



rf* 



Sf Jacob and Esau were twin 

brothers, sons of Isaac and 
Rebekah. Esau was the 
dearer to his father; but 
Rebekah loved Jacob 
3$, more, and she wished her 
favorite son to have the 
^ birthright, or larger por- 
tion of the property, 
which really belonged to 
Esau because he was a little 
the older. 

One day Esau came in from 
hunting, very tired and hungry, 
and sold his birthright to Jacob for a kind of stew 
called pottage. 

Afterward, when Isaac had grown very old, he 
sent Esau one day to get some of his favorite meat, 
saying that when he returned he should have his 
father's blessing. 

But Rebekah heard this and determined that 
Jacob should have the blessing instead. So she 
prepared meat, then dressed Jacob in some of his 
brother's clothing, covering his hands and neck 
with the skin of the kids, and sent him to his father; 




and Isaac blessed him, for his sight was dim, and 
he thought it was Esau. 

When the elder brother returned, he was 
very angry with Jacob, and Isaac was deeply 
grieved to think he had been deceived; but he 
blessed Esau as well, who became prosperous and 
had large possessions and great power. 

After this Jacob went to his mother's people, 
where he met Rachel, whom he loved very dearly. 
He told Laban, her father, that he would serve him 
faithfully seven years if Rachel 
might be his wife, and Laban con- 
sented to this; at the end of the 
seven years, however, he told 
Jacob that he must first marry 
Leah, as she was the older, but 
if he would serve another seven 
years he might have Rachel 
So Jacob served another 
seven years for Rachel, and 
then they were married. • 

Later Esau and Jacob 
met and were very glad to 
see each other, for Jacob 
had repented of his sin, and 
God had forgiven him ; while 
Esau forgave him also. 





DAVID WATCHING THE SHEEP 



JOSEPH, THE FAVORITE SON. 

The story of Joseph is one which children 
always love, and which is full of interest for older 
people as well ; for it is as wonderful as a fairy 
tale, and yet deals with the history and biography 

^V^ of ancient times. 

Joseph was 
the eleventh 
son of Jacob, 
and dearly 
loved by his 
father, whom 
he also loved very 
much in return. 
But Joseph's older 
brothers were jealous of 
him because he was such 
a favorite, and because 
their father had given 
him a beautiful coat of many colors. 

Joseph helped care for the flocks, and sometimes 
he had strange dreams, which he told to his brothers. 
This was one of them : " Behold," he said, " we were 
binding sheaves in the field ; and lo, my sheaf arose, 
and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves 
stood round about and made obeisance to my sheaf." 
This made the brothers more jealous than ever, 




for they thought that his dream 
meant that he would rule over 
them, and they hated him 
for it. 

They planned to put 
him out of the way, and 
soon had an opportunity 
to sell him to a party of 
strangers, who carried him /"~V 





^ftX awa y to Egypt and 
*•—•■» sold him there. 

Pharaoh, King of 
Egypt, dreamed 
some strange dreams, 
which Joseph inter- 
preted to mean seven 
years of plenty, fol- 
lowed by seven years 
of famine, and he 
advised the king to 
provide for those 
years of famine. 
Pharaoh was pleased 




with this, and appointed Joseph 



himself ruler 
over the land. 

In due time 
the famine 
came, but 
Egypt had 



plenty; and when the crops 

of Jacob and his people 

failed, and Joseph's brothers 

came down to Egypt to 

buy food, they found that 

the boy whom they had sold 

was a great ruler there. 

They were frightened, but 

I he forgave them. He kept 

«- J_ C Benjamin, his youngest 

brother, with him, and sent 

for his father, inviting him to make his home in the 

land of Egypt, and at last there was a very joyful 

reunion. 

Jacob and his family lived in their new home 
for many years, and Jacob blessed the children of 
Joseph and called them his own sons. When he 
died, they took him to the land of Canaan to be 
buried, as he had requested. But Joseph and his 
brethren continued to dwell in the land of Egypt. 



MOSES 

Pharaoh, the King of 
Egypt, had made a law 
that every boy baby of 
the Hebrew race should 
be killed, and there was 
great sorrow because 
of it. But when 
Moses was born, his 
mother man- 
aged to hide 
<J\ him for three 
W&M months ; then 
she made a 
cradle, or lit- 
tle ark, and 
putting him 
into it, car- 
ried him down to a river and hid the cradle among 
the reeds there. 

Soon after this, Pharaoh's daughter came with 
her maidens to the river-side, and when she saw 
the beautiful child, she sent one of her maidens to 
brinor it to her. 

She took the little boy to the palace and named 
him Moses, and he became a great man among 
the Egyptians; he knew, however, that he belonged 




to the Hebrew race, and when he saw how badly 
his own people were treated, he tried to help them ; 
but at last he was obliged to leave Egypt, and be- 
came a shepherd, taking care of the flocks of a 
priest called Jethro. He also married Jethro's 
daughter. 

After a time, God spoke to Moses out of a 
burning bush, and told him that he must go and 
rescue his people from the cruel Egyptians. Moses 
thought he could not do this ; but God promised to 
help him, and to show him what he would be able 
to do with that help, God turned the rod which 
Moses carried into a serpent. Then God told 
Moses to pick the serpent up by the tail, and as he 
did so, it became a rod again. He showed him 
another sign, also ; but Moses was still afraid, be- 
cause he could not talk well and thought that 
Pharaoh would not listen to him. .So God told 
him to take his brother Aaron for a spokesman. 

Moses and Aaron, therefore, went into Egypt, 
where they called together the chief men among 
their own people, the Hebrews, or Israelites, and 
told them what God had commanded. Moses also 
did the miracles which God had given him power to 
do, and the people believed that God had sent him. 

After this Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, 
and told him that it was the Lord's command that 



he should let the Israelites go. Pharaoh knew 
nothing about God, and became very angry, saying 
that Moses and Aaron kept the people from their 
work by telling them such things; and he treated 
the poor Israelites worse than before. 

But Moses had faith in God; so he was able to 
perform before the king the wonderful things that 
he had done before his own people; still, Pharaoh 
would not let the children of Israel go. 

Then Moses 
turned the waters of 
the rivers into blood; 
and after that he " 
caused large num- 
bers of frogs to run 
over the land and 
the houses, 
great harm. 
He also brought 
locusts and other 
insects to be a pest 
to the people, and 
caused many of the 
useful animals which 

to the Egyptians to 
sick and die, doing all 
these wonders with the rod 



through 
doing 



belonged 



grow 




which God had given him. But Pharaoh would 
not listen to him. 

Then God commanded Moses again, and he 
brought other plagues upon the Egyptians; but 
Pharaoh would not give up. 

At last, however, God sent a still more terrible 
trouble; for the first-born of every Egyptian family, 
and even the first-born among their flocks, died; 




although the Israelites, who were constantly pray- 
ing to the Lord and making sacrifices, were spared, 
as they had been all the time. 

Then Pharaoh was frightened into obeying God, 
and he let the Israelites go; so they started at once 
for the land of Ganaan, and the Lord guided them 
by a cloud, which at night looked like a pillar of fire. 



When the Israelites had reached the Red Sea, 
they found that Pharaoh was pursuing them with 
a large army. But God commanded Moses to 
stretch forth his rod over the. sea; he did so, and 
the waters parted, making a high wall upon either 
side, so that the children of Israel passed through 
and reached the other side in safety. Pharaoh and 
his hosts followed and were all drowned. 

When the children of Israel saw that they were 
safe, they sang a beautiful song of praise to God, 
and then they went on their way again. 

After they had traveled for some time, they 
were in need of bread and meat, and they com- 
plained about Moses because he had brought them 
to a land where they had not enough to eat. But 
God sent them plenty of quails and also a sub- 
stance which they could use for bread. Later, 
when they wanted water, the Lord commanded 
Moses, and he struck a rock with his rod, and 
pure water poured out of it, so that the thirsty 
people and their animals had all that they 
wanted. 

In this way God took care of them as they 
journeyed through the new and strange country 
toward the promised land, and Moses became 
the law-giver of the Israelites, receiving his com- 
mandments from God. 



SAMSON 

As a child Sam- 
son was set apart 
to the service of 
the Lord, who 
' gave him great 
strength and 
courage, so that 
he did many 
wonderful things. 
One day he 
met a lion, and when 
the beast roared at him, 
'^S. he caught and 
killed it as 
though it had been a very small animal. 

Later, the Philistines, who were enemies of the 
Israelites, did Samson a great wrong, and he wished 
to punish them ; so he caught three hundred foxes 
and tied fire-brands to their tails ; then he turned 
them loose in the corn-fields of the Philistines and 
burned up all their corn, also their vineyards and 
olives. At another time he killed a thousand of 
them with the jaw-bone of an ass. 

Later still, Samson did a very wonderful thing. 
He had gone to a place called Gaza, and when 
the people knew he was there, they shut the gate 

40 L 




of the city so that he could not get away ; for they 
meant to kill him. But Samson arose in the 
night and took down the heavy doors of the gate, 
carrying them off upon his back. 

After Samson had lost his wife, he loved a 
woman named Delilah, and she pretended to love 
him; but she was a very wicked woman and 
wanted to give him up to 
the Philistines. 

She tried to find out __ 
what gave Samson 
his great strength, 
but for a long time 
he would not tell 
her. At last, how- 
ever, he yielded to 
her pleadings and 
told her that his 
hair had never been cut. %■ 
" If I be shorn," he said, * - „ ?£&£r T- 

"then will my strength go from me, " : " - s 
and I shall become weak, and be like other men." 

Delilah told this to the Philistines, and they 
came and cut off Samson's hair while he slept; 
when he awoke, they took him prisoner and put 
out his eyes, besides treating him cruelly in many 
other ways. 




But after a time Sam- 
son's hair began to grow 
again, and his strength 
came back, and one g? 
day when they had /-/ 

taken him outside the JiJ/ti=- 

'i I Hi 
building to make sport JaJlLiI 

for a great number of people, 

he took hold of the pillars 

between which he stood and 

pulled them down, so that 

the house fell upon him and 

all the people who were 

a ^ gathered 

ere, 

:illing 

thou- 








sands of them. 

Samson was taken 
back to his own country 
to be buried in the 
burying-place of his 
father; for he had judged 
Israel twenty , years, and 
it was only right that this 
honor should be shown 
him. 



RUTH AND NAOMI. 

The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the 
sweetest and most touching of all the Bible stories. 
It shows the beauty of unselfish devotion and con- 
stant love, and the happiness which they brought, 
and teaches a lesson which is very helpful to us all. 
A long time ago, in the days of the judges of 

Israel, there was a 
famine in the land 
of Canaan, and a 
man named Elim- 
elech, whose home 
was in Bethlehem, 
went with his wife 
Naomi and his two 
sons to live in 
Moab. 

After they had 
been there a while 
Naomi's husband 
died, leaving her 
with the two sons. 
Then, by and by, 
the sons married, 
and their wives were very good to Naomi, and 
loved her. But it was only ten years before both 
of the sons died, and Naomi thought it was best 
for her to go back to her old home in Canaan ; for 
she had been told that there was plenty in the land 
once more, and she wanted to see her own people 




and the relatives of her husband who was dead. 
So Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return to 
their own homes, because she could not expect 
them to be willing to leave everything for her sake. 

"Go, each of you, to your mother's house," she 
said; "the Lord deal kindly with you as ye have 
dealt with the dead and with me." But they both 
wept and clung to her, saying, "Surely we will 
return with thee into thy land." 

Naomi, however, thought they would be unhappy 
if they left their own country, and she urged them 
to stay there and let her go alone; so one of them 
kissed her over and over again and promised to do 
as she bade; but the other, who was named Ruth, 
would not leave her. 

"Entreat me not to leave thee," she pleaded, 
"or to return from following after thee; for whither 
thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will 
lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God 
my God ; where thou diest I will die, and there 
will I be buried; the Lord do so to me and more, 
also, if aught but death part thee and. me." 

Then Naomi stopped urging her to return, and 
they went together to Bethlehem, where the friends 
of Naomi were very glad to welcome her and 
greeted her in a very friendly manner, saying again 
and again, "Is this Naomi?" 

But she answered: "Call me not Naomi, but 
call me Mara, for the Almighty hath dealt very 
bitterly with me." She said this because Naomi 



means "pleasant" and Mara means "bitter," and 
the sorrowing widow felt that her life was a bitter 
rather than a pleasant one, since she had been 
bereaved of her husband and sons. 

There lived in Bethlehem a* man named Boaz, 
who was a relative of Naomi's husband, and who 
was also very wealthy. He had a large farm, and 
many people, 



both men and 
women, worked 
in his fields, and 
as it was about 
the beginning of 
the barley har- 
vest when the 
two women came 
to Bethlehem, 
these fields pre- 
sented a busy 
appearance. 

Ruth wished 
to do something 
to help support Ij 
herself and her 
mother-in-law, so she begged Naomi to let her go 
into the fields and glean after the reapers — that is, 
to gather up the barley that was left after they had 
made up the sheaves — and Naomi told her that 
she might go. 

Ruth happened to choose the field of Boaz to 




work in, and when the wealthy man came into the 
field and saw her, he said, "The Lord bless thee!" 
but he did not know who she was. 

As he went away he inquired of the head reaper 
about the young woman, and afterward he said to 
Ruth : " Go not to glean in another field, but keep 
here close to my maidens." He also spoke to his 
young men about her,' telling them to be kind and 
courteous to her, and he bade her go and drink of 
the water which they drew whenever she was 
thirsty. 

When Ruth wondered at his kindness and asked 
him why he was so good to a stranger, he told her 
that he had heard of her love for Naomi and her 
unselfish devotion, and he said: "The Lord reward 
thee, and a full recompense be given thee of the 
Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art 
come to trust." He invited her also to sit with 
his reapers at meal-time, and he waited upon her 
that she .might have enough to eat and drink. 

When she had gone he commanded his young 
men to let her glean among the sheaves and to 
drop some handfuls purposely for her, and not to 
find fault with her or reprove her. 

So Ruth worked in the field all day, and then 
beat out the barley which she had gleaned and 
took it to the city to show Naomi, who was very 
glad, indeed, and very thankful. 

Naomi asked Ruth where she had gleaned, and 
when she had heard the whole story, she told her 



that Boaz was a near relative and that it was weil 
for her to stay in his fields, as he had given her 
permission to do, until the end of the harvest, So 
Ruth kept close to the maidens who gleaned in 
the fields of Boaz until the end of both the barley 
and the wheat harvests. 

Then one night when Boaz was to have a win- 
nowing of barley, Naomi told Ruth to make herself 
ready, putting on her best clothing, and to go to 
the winnowing and the feast and to ask Boaz what 
she should do. 

The winnowing is the fanning out of the straws 
from the kernels after the husks have been beaten 
off. A great many people helped about the work, 
and a feast was prepared for them. 

Ruth did as Naomi had told her to do. When 
she had informed Boaz that she was a near relative 
he said, "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daugh- 
ter." Then he told her not to be afraid, but to 
bring the long veil which she wore, and when she 
had brought it he poured a large quantity of barley 
into it. She carried this to the city and gave it to 
her mother-in-law, telling her what Boaz had said, 
and Naomi was comforted; for she knew that 
Boaz would advise them wisely. 

After this Boaz went to the city and consulted 
with the chief men and those that were interested 
in the welfare of Naomi and Ruth, and when he 
found that it would be wronging no one, he told 
the people that he was going to take Ruth for his 




MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES 



wife, and the people said, "We are witnesses." 
So Boaz married Ruth ; but in her new position as 
the wife of a very wealthy and influential man, this 
noble woman did not forget her love for Naomi, 
whom she still tenderly cared for. When a little 
son came to bless the union, Naomi rejoiced, for 
she felt almost as though it was her own little son, 
and she named him Obed and delighted in taking 
care of him. 

When Obed became a man he married and had 
a son named Jesse, who in turn became the father 
of David, the great king of Israel. Jesus Him- 
self was of the House of David, and so God's 
promise to His chosen people was fulfilled. 



40F 



THE TRIALS OF JOB. 

The story of Job teaches how strong and patient 
it is possible for any one to be who believes in the 
goodness and justice of God and is willing to be 
guided entirely by Him and to submit to His will 

in all things. 

Job was a very 
good man, and a 
man also of great 
wealth and highly 
respected by the 
people who knew 
him. He had a 
pleasant home and 
a large family, there 
I being ten children 
■ — seven sons and 
three daughters; 
while his large 
fields contained 
flocks and herds of 
great numbers, 
and many servants 
called him master. He was loved and honored 
for his kind and noble life, and was looked up to 
above all the men in the country where he lived. 

Job did not abuse his power, as so many great 
men do; he worshipped God and taught his 
family to do so, and he gave thanks to the Lord 
for all the blessings which had been given him. 




But all these years Job's life had been prosper- 
ous and easy; there had been no test of his faith 
and strength, and sometimes it is necessary that 
trouble should come to make people stronger. 

God saw that it was necessary to send trouble 
to Job in order that his character might be made 
still more beautiful; so He permitted enemies to 
rise up against him and to take away some of his 
possessions. He also allowed a part of his flocks 
and a number of his servants to be destroyed by 
lightning, and what was the worst of all, He per- 
mitted a great whirlwind to come and kill all the 
sons and daughters of Job. 

These were terrible trials, and Job was very 
sorrowful when he found himself so afflicted. He 
rent, or tore, his robe, as people did in those days 
as a sign of mourning, and he threw himself upon 
the ground, bowing before the Lord, and said, "I 
came as a little child with nothing into this world, 
and I shall go out of it taking nothing with me. 
The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; 
blessed be the name of the Lord." Was it not 
wonderful that Job could have such faith and trust 
in spite of his great sorrow? 

But he was tried still more, for he was obliged 
to suffer great physical pain as well as the mental 
agony which he had endured. His body was 
covered with boils so that he could not rest either 
night or day; but still he would not complain. 

His wife became impatient with him and thought 



that God was treating him unfairly; but Job said, 
"Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and 
shall we not receive evil?" Was not that a wise 
and noble answer? 

In the midst of his sufferings three old friends 
came to him and tried to comfort him; but when 
they saw how he was afflicted, they thought he 
must have sinned very wickedly or God would 
not have punished him so severely. They wept 
with him, however, and staid with him a long time 
without saying anything. Then, when Job was 
suffering so much that at last he could not keep 
quiet, he commenced to complain. He wanted to 
die and be out of his misery. 

His three friends were shocked at this and began 
to talk to him, telling him that he had not done as 
he ought, or God would not have brought all this 
suffering upon him. Of course this was very hard 
to bear, for now Job had not only his former suffer- 
ings to endure, but he was hurt as well because 
his friends had turned against him. Yet he 
answered them in a wise way, telling them that he 
did not believe his trouble had been sent for a 
punishment, because he had always tried to serve 
God faithfully and to do His will. 

But the three men kept on blaming him, until 
Job told them that they were miserable comforters, 
and that if they were suffering as he was he would 
never think of treating them as they were treating 
him. He said that he could bring up many things 



against them, but he would not do it if they were 
ill, he would comfort them instead and try to make 
their lot a little easier. 

Then Job cried out that God had delivered him 
to wicked people; that he was given up to suffer- 
ing; that his friends had turned from him, and 
even his relatives had forsaken him. And he 
called upon his friends to have pity upon him. 




r '**2 ' ?<^ '^**-/f/t»c*r*rrrrrrr*9¥fr^ 



But in the midst of his distress hope came to 
him again, and he cried out, "I know that my 
Redeemer liveth." That should have made his 
companions ashamed of what they had said against 
him, for unless his faith in God had been very 
great he could not have trusted through all his 
agony. 



When he complained after this because his pain 
was so great, he was sorry and prayed to God to 
forgive him, saying, "I know that Thou canst do 
everything, and that no thought can be withholden 
from Thee. Wherefore, I abhor myself in dust 
and ashes." 

And God was pleased with Job for his patience 
and faith through all the trials that had been sent 
upon him; and was displeased with the three false 
friends, because they had not treated him as they 
ought. But Job prayed for the men who had 
been so cruel, and that proved the nobility of his 
character. 

After a time God cured Job of all his diseases 
and also restored his wealth, even giving him more 
than he had ever had in his most prosperous days. 
Then people gathered around him again, bringing 
him presents and making much of him, for they 
saw that the Lord was pleased with him. 

And Job had seven sons and three daughters 
born to him after his affliction; he also had larger 
flocks than ever, and more servants, and he was 
even happier in the later years of his life than 
when he was younger. He lived to a very old 
age, and God blessed him bountifully. 



SAMUEL. 

When Samuel was 
born, Hannah, his mother, 
sang a beautiful hymn of 
praise to God, and as 
soon as her son was old 
enough, she took him to 
live at the tabernacle, or 
house where the priests 
lived and where services 
were held. There Sam- 
uel studied with Eli, the 
JL-high priest, and was taught 
_to serve the Lord; for 
Hannah had promised 
that if God would send 
^>-.'^ her a son, he should be 
given to the service of the Lord all his days. 

Samuel prayed to God and lived a very beauti- 
ful life, and after the death of Eli, he became the 
judge over Israel. He was only twenty years old 
at this time, but the Lord was with him and told 
him what to do, and he became not only a judge, 
but a prophet also. 

The people of Israel had displeased God by 
worshiping idols. So Samuel called them together 
and told them that if they would return to God 
He would save them from the Philistines, who 
were constantly troubling them. 

They listened to the words of their prophet, and 




fasted and prayed; then the Lord forgave them 
and caused them to gain the victory over their 
enemies. 

When Samuel had grown old, he made his two 
sons judges over Israel, to help him in his work. 
But the prophet's sons were not good men, and 
they cared more about making money than they 
did about judging Israel as they ought; so the 
people came to Samuel, and asked him to give 
them a king to rule over them. 

Samuel did not wish to do this; he thought it 
would not be as well for the people. But they 
still cried out that they wanted a king, and finally 
he anointed Saul to be king over them. Saul 
displeased God, 
however, and Sam- 
uel told him that the 
Lord would take his 
kingdom away. He 
also anointed David \ 
to be king- after Saul's V}\ 
death. 

When Samuel 
died, the people; 
mourned sincerely • f' 
for him, because he 
was a good man 
and a great prophet 
and judge. 




THE FIRST KING OF ISRAEL. 

Saul was the son of a man who belonged to the 
tribe of Benjamin. He was tall and handsome and 
kingly-looking, and when Samuel had chosen him 
to be King of Israel and had brought him before 
the people, saying, "See ye him whom the Lord 
hath chosen, that there is none like him among all 
the people?" They were pleased and shouted, 
"God save the king!" 

Then Samuel wrote out the laws of the kingdom 
in a book which was to be very carefully guarded, 
and after that he sent the people away to their own 
homes. Saul also went home, a band of faithful 
men going with him. But there were some who 
were not pleased with the new king. 

It was not long before the Ammonites, who 
were enemies of the Israelites, came up to fight 
against one of their cities, and Saul gathered a great 
army and defeated them. Then there was rejoicing 
in the kingdom, and Samuel told the people that 
although they had done wrong in demanding a king, 
yet if they served God faithfully, He would care 
for them ; but if they were wicked, they and their 
king should be destroyed. 

The Philistines were very powerful enemies of 
the Israelites, who had been treated as their serv- 
ants and were not allowed to have weapons such as 
the Philistines had. Saul, however, raised an army 
to go against these mighty enemies, and made his 
son Jonathan captain over a part of the army, while 



40G 



he himself led the remainder. Then Jonathan 
gained an important victory, and the Philistines, 
although they were so powerful, fled before the 
armies of Saul, because God was on his side. 

But Saul disobeyed the Lord, who had helped 
him so wonderfully, and the words of Samuel the 
prophet came true, for at last the king was destroyed 
and his kingdom was given to another. 

There is a great contrast between the characters 
of Samuel and Saul. Samuel was obedient to God 
in all things; Saul wanted his own way, even after 
God had shown him such great favor as to make 
him king of Israel. 

His reign might have been a wonderful one had he 
done right. He was handsome, brave, strong, and 
generous, and well liked by the most of his people. 
It is true that the children of Israel had displeased 
God in demanding a king against the judgment of 
Samuel, the prophet of the Lord ; but this would 
have been forgiven, and Saul's reign would have 
been blessed if only he had proved himself worthy. 
Instead of that he grew to be very unworthy, and 
the punishment of his sin came surely, as it always 
does, sooner or later, to all who disobey God. 



DAVID. 

David, the son of Jesse. 

as a beautiful boy, who 

could charm bv his 

wonderful music. 

But he was to be 

more than a '-sweet 

singer."' for Samuel, 

the prophet of the Lord, 

declared that he should 

be King of Israel, and 

poured the sacred oil 

upon his head. 

Saul, who was then the 
King of Israel, had spells 
of insanity, and David 
was sent for to try and 
calm him bv his music. 
In this he was so success- 
ful that after a time the king seemed to be entirely 
cured ; so David returned to his home, and staid 
there quietly until his father sent him to the camp 
of the Israelites, with food for his brothers. 

He lound Saul's armv in sreat commotion, be- 
cause Goliath, a mighty warrior of the Philistines. 
had come out before both armies and had offered 
to fight any man who should be sent against him. 
Goliath had a cap of brass on his head, and his 
body was well protected with a covering ol iron 
and brass, while he carried a monstrous spear and 




sword, and a heavy shield. As he came before 
the two camps, he cried out : " I defy the armies of 
Israel this day ; give me a man, that we may fight 
together ! " 

When David came up and heard the story, he 
said: "Who is this Philistine, that he should defy 
the armies of the living God?" And David 
offered to go forth against Goliath. 

So he went out in his shepherd's dress, with 
only his staff and sling; and Goliath, who was very 
angry at this, cried out: "Am I a dog, that thou 
comest against me with a staff?" Then he began 
to make fun of David. But David answered: 
"Thou comest against me with a sword and a 
shield ; but I come against thee trusting in the 
Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, whom thou hast 
defied." 

Then, as Goliath came nearer, David took a 
stone from the bag at his side, and putting it into 
his sling, he took good aim, and it struck Goliath 
in the middle of the forehead and stunned him. 
As the giant fell, David ran up to him, and taking 
the mighty sword, cut off his head with it. 

This act of David's brought a great victory to 
Saul's army, and the king was delighted with his 
courage ; while Jonathan, Saul's eldest son, loved 
the boy from that time, and they became like 
brothers. David also married the daughter of 
Saul, and was placed over his men of war. 

But when all the people praised David, and 



Saul knew how much they loved him, he grew 
jealous, and David was obliged to fly for his life 
and hide himself from the king. During these 
wanderings, he wrote some of his most beautiful 
psalms. 

Saul, however, was finally killed, and at last 
David became king. He ruled Israel for nearly 
forty years, making it a great and powerful nation ; 
and when he died he was buried at Jerusalem, 
which was called "The City of David," because 
he had caused it to be taken from the enemy. 




THE DEATH OF ABSALOM. 

Absalom was the son of David, King of Israel, 
and his father loved him very dearly. But Absa- 
lom killed one of his brothers who had committed 
a great crime, and then he hurried away from his 
home at Jerusalem and did not return for three 
years, because he feared for his own life. 

After the three years, however, David sent 
word to him that he mi^ht come back and live in 
his own house, but that he must not visit the king; 
for he felt that it was his duty to punish Absalom, 
even though he still loved him. 

So Absalom returned, and as soon as he could 
he sent a messenger to his father, begging that he 
might be allowed to see him, and saying that if the 
king found him evil, then he was ready to forfeit 
his own life. 

When David heard this he sent for his son, and 
Absalom came and bowed to the ground before 
him; and David kissed him and forgave him. 

Absalom was very beautiful indeed, with a 
strong and noble figure and a magnificent head of 
hair, which he wore lo'ng, as was the custom in 
those days, and everybody admired him; but he 
was not a good man, for he wished to take his 
father's kingdom away from him, that he himself 
might be king. 

He tried to win the hearts . of the people away 
from David and to make them believe that they 
were not treated justly; he told the men that if 



only he were judge every one should be treated 
fairly, and when they bowed down before him, he 
took each one by the hand and kissed him. Then, 
after he had won many hearts, he planned a re- 
bellion, sending out spies and raising troops to 
fight against David. 

When the king heard all this and knew that 

Absalom was 
coming against 
him with many 
men, he left Je- 
rusalem and 




Mount Olivet, 
weeping as he 
went, with his 
head covered 
and his feet bare, 
and all that went 
with him wept 
also and had 
their heads covered to show their sorrow, for that 
was the custom in the time of David. 

When David had reached the top of Mount 
Olivet, he worshiped God and prayed to Him, and 
he also sent back a messenger to find out what was 
being done at Jerusalem. They learned that 



Absalom was ready to fight against the king; so 
David raised an army to go forth to meet the army 
of Absalom, but he commanded his men to deal 
gently with the undutiful son for the sake of the 
father who loved him. 

The two armies met in a great battle, and twenty 
thousand of the soldiers of Absalom were killed. 
Absalom's lone hair caught in the branches of a 
tree as he was riding under it, and he could not 
get away; so when David's men came up they 
killed him, in spite of the king's words, they were 
so angry with him, and putting his body into a pit, 
they covered it with stones. Then they sent a 
messenger to David, telling him that his son was 
dead. 

When David heard the news he wept and 
mourned, crying, "O my son Absalom, my son, 
my son Absalom! Would God I had died for 
thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" And all the 
people mourned with him, in spite of the great vic- 
tory that had been won. 

But after a time they grew tired of the mourning 
and wished to see their king who had been spared 
to them, and they thought he should care some- 
thing for them as well as for the son who had been 
so cruel; so David went out and sat in the gate, 
and the people came there to see him and rejoiced 
that he was safe, and for their sakes he tried to 
control his sorrow. 




1 



ABRAHAM'S SACRIFICE 



THE JUDGMENT OF SOLOMON. 

The reign of King Solomon is one of the most 
remarkable in all the history of Israel, for Solomon 
was a very wonderful man, and his fame spread 
out over all the land, so that people came from great 
distances to see him. The visit of the Queen of 
H I ■ . \ I I Jl Sheba is particularly men- 
- u ~^ — !l ™ tioned in the Bible. 

Solomon was the 
son of King David, 
and when his father 
died, he became 
King of Israel, al- 
though he was only 
a boy at that time. 

Now, to be a king 
requires great wis- 
dom and judgment; 
but Solomon trusted 
in God, so God 
helped him and gave 
him wisdom and 
knowledge when 
he asked for them. God also gave him riches and 
honor and long life, so that there was never another 
king like King Solomon. 

This great man ruled not only over Israel, but 
over other nations as well; for David, his father, 
had conquered many people. These people brought 




presents of great value to the king, and Solomon's 
wealth constantly increased, while his wisdom was 
talked about everywhere. 

Very early in his reign, Solomon had won the 
confidence of his people by the wise manner in 
which he had settled a dispute between two women 
who both claimed the same child. 

It was impossible to tell which was the mother, 
so Kine Solomon commanded that a sword be 
brought and that the living child be cut in two, in 
order that half could be given to each of the women 
who claimed him. 

But the mother of the child cried out to the 
king not to have her baby killed, saying that the 
other woman might keep him if only his life could 
be spared; while the woman whose child was 
really dead was willing that the boy should be 
killed. So King Solomon knew at once that the 
infant belonged to the woman who begged to have 
his life spared, and he gave the child back to her. 

When the people heard this, they believed that 
God had put wisdom into the heart of the king, 
and they obeyed him still more willingly ; while 
Solomon went on judging them wisely, and advanc- 
ing in knowledge and power. But later, he mar- 
ried a great many heathen wives, who brought 
idolatry with them, and this was not pleasing to 
God. 

Solomon caused a magnificent temple to be 
built at Jerusalem, and he had a number of beauti- 



ful palaces for himself and his wives. His extrava- 
gance, however, was not pleasing to the people; 
so, in spite of his wisdom, the king was not loved 
as well as when he first came into power. 

King Solomon wrote many proverbs and psalms, 
but a great many of his writings have been lost. 
He was King of Israel for forty years and when 
he died, was buried at Jerusalem. 




THE TWELVE TRIBES. 

At the death of Solomon the kingdom of Israel 
was very great and powerful. It was divided into 
twelve parts called tribes; but all of these tribes 
were under the rule of King Solomon, and after 
his death they were under his son, Rehoboam. 

The people were displeased with the way they 
had been treated during the later years of King 







Solomon's reign, and they appealed to Rehoboam 
to give them more liberty. Rehoboam asked the 
advice of the old men who had been the friends of 
his father, and also of the young men who had 
been his own companions; but although the old 
men advised him wisely to grant the petition of his 
people and be kinder to them, he liked the advice 



of the young men better, and answered according 
to their wishes, saying to the people: 

"If my father made your burdens heavy, I will 
make them still heavier, and if he punished you 
with whips, I will punish you with scorpions." 

This cruel answer made the people angry, and 
they said they would not be governed by Reho- 
boam. Then ten of the twelve tribes of Israel 
declared that they would have Jeroboam to rule 
over them, and they rebelled against Rehoboam, 
leaving him with only two tribes. 

These ten tribes which rebelled against the 
authority of Rehoboam, established a kingdom of 
their own which was called the kingdom of Israel. 
They became idolators and led a very troubled life 
until finally they were captured by heathen nations 
and were known as the "Lost tribes." 

The two tribes which remained faithful to Reho- 
boam were the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and 
they kept the religion of their fathers. They were 
carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, king of 
Babylon, who burned their temple; and for seventy 
years they were forced to remain in Babylon. 
Afterward, when a new king took the place of 
Nebuchadnezzar, they were permitted to return to 
their own land. At this time the name of the terri- 
tory of Judah was changed to that of Judaea, and 
the people were called Jews. Before this they had 
been known as Hebrews. The Hebrews wor- 
shiped the true God. 



JOASH 

The father of 

Joash was King 

of Judah, and 

when he died, 

his mother, who 

was a very 

wicked woman, 

put her grandchildren to death, 

so that she might be queen. 

J But the sister of the kine hid 

Joash, and for six years he was 

under the care of the high 

priest in the temple. 

During this time the wicked 
queen reigned over the land; 
but at the end of the six years, the high priest 
called together some of the captains of Israel, and 
also the priests and Levites, and when they had 
come, he showed them Joash, and said, "Behold 
the king's son shall reign, as the Lord hath said 
of the sons of David." And they all agreed that 
Joash should be king. 

Then Joash was anointed and crowned, and 
they clapped their hands and cried, "God save the 
king!" 

They also brought the little King Joash out of 




the temple and put him upon the throne. Joash 
was only seven years old at this time, but he had 
good men to advise him; so he repaired the tem- 
ple, and his people destroyed their idols and wor- 
shiped God. 

Afterward the princes of Judah wished to go 
back to the worship of idols, and Joash gave them 
permission to do so. 

But God punished both the king and his people 
for their disobedience. When enemies came against 
them in battle, God gave those enemies the victory 
over the men of Judah, and Joash, who was very 
ill, was killed in his bed by his own servants. 



sp° 




DANIEL. 

After the ten tribes of Israel had rebelled and 
formed a kingdom of their own, the other two 
tribes had a separate history, which it is very in- 
teresting to study. 

The people of the Kingdom of Judah had been 
ruled over by many kings, some of them good, and 

others verv 

J 

bad; but 
God had 
been with 
them all the 
time, and 
had saved 
them from 
their ene- 
mies, until 
at last they 
refused to 
listen to the 
prop hets 
and obey 
the Lord; 
then He 
permitted 
Nebuchad- 
nezzar, the King of Babylon, to conquer them. 




Among the princes taken to Babylon, were four 
who were especially strong in character and who 
worshipped God with all their hearts and obeyed 
all His commandments. At last Daniel, one of 
these four princes, told the king the meaning of a 
dream which the wise men of the kingdom had not 
been able to interpret, and this pleased Nebuchad- 
nezzar so much that he made the young prince a 
great ruler; while he also gave high positions to 
the other three. 

Nebuchadnezzar had caused an image of gold 
to be made and had commanded his people to fall 
down and worship it. Daniel was probably in 
some other part of the kingdom at this time, but his 
three companions refused to obey the command 
and were bound and cast into a furnace of fire. 
The king was astonished, however, to see the young 
men, free from their bonds, walking about in the 
furnace with a fourth man, who "looked like the 
Son of God." 

The three princes came out of the furnace 
unharmed, and the king made a decree, or law, 
that no one should speak against their God; 
and he gave them higher positions than they had 
held before. 

Daniel kept his power for many years; but he 
had cruel enemies, and at last, in the reign of 



401 



Darius, these enemies grot the 
king to make a law that any 
one who offered a petition to 
any god or man except the 
king for thirty days, should 
be cast into the den of 
lions. 

When Daniel 
went on with his 
worship of God, 
these wicked men 
reported it to the 
king, who, although ft 
he was muc h'vj 
troubled, could not 
refuse to have the 
law executed. 

So Daniel was 
thrown into the 
den; but he was not 
harmed, for God 
would not permit the savage beasts to injure him, 
and when he was taken out, the men who had 
caused him to be so cruelly treated were themselves 
thrown to the lions. After this King Darius sent 
out a decree that all the people of his kingdom 
should worship the God of Daniel. 




ESTHER. 

The story of Esther is one of the most beautiful 
in the Bible. It tells of a lovely orphan Jewess, 
who had been adopted by her uncle, Mordecai, 
and who became a queen. 




One of the kind's best friends was a man named 
Haman, whom every one flattered. Mordecai, 
however, would not flatter Haman, because he 
knew that the man was bad at heart; he had also 



discovered a plot which the wicked Haman had 
made to kill the king; so Haman feared and hated 
him, and planned to destroy all the Jews, that he 
might get rid of this man. 

When the Jews learned that they were to be 
destroyed, there was great mourning. Mordecai 
clothed himself in sackcloth and prayed to God, 
and he also sent word to Esther, asking her to go 
to the king and plead for her people, although it 
was a law in the land that if any one should go to 
the king without being summoned, that person 
should be put to death, unless the king held out to 
him the golden scepter. 

Esther, however, determined to make this at- 
tempt to save her people, even if she lost her own 
life ; so she fasted and prayed, and then went before 
the king to make her petition. 

King Ahasuerus was touched by her beauty 
as she stood before him, and he at once held 
out the golden scepter to her, saying, "What 
wilt thou, Queen Esther, and what is thy re- 
quest? It shall be even given thee to the half of 
the kingdom." 

So Esther saved her people, and the wicked 
Haman was hanged upon the very gallows which 
he had caused to be made for Mordecai. 



JOHN THE BAPTIST. 

John the Baptist was the son of a priest named 
Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth, who was a cousin 
of Mary, the mother of Jesus. 

John was born when his parents were very old. 
It had been prophesied of him that he should be 
filled with the Holy Ghost and should do a great 

work in the world, 
andtheseprophecies 
were all fulfilled, as 
were the prophecies 
about Jesus Him- 
self. 

After John was 
born, his father, 
Zacharias, the 
priest, foretold the 
coming of Christ. 
John lived in the 
wilderness, becom- 
ing strong and pre- 
paring himself for 
his duties, until, 
when he grew to be a man, he went forth as John 
the Baptist, and the people flocked to hear him 
preach. 

He was of very nearly the same age as Jesus, 
and he told the people of the Savior's coming, 
urging them to repent of their sins, and many of 
them were baptized by him in the River Jordan. 




But he thought of his own work as small compared 
with that which Jesus was to do, and said: 

" I indeed baptize you with water unto repent- ■ 
ance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than 
I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall 
baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." 

After a time Jesus came from Galilee to Jordan 
to be baptized as the others were; but John felt 
that this was not fitting, and he said: "I have need 
to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?" 

Jesus said to him: "Suffer it to be so now; for 
thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." 
And then John baptized Him. 

This shows us that Jesus believed in doing all 
things in accordance with the laws and rules which 
had already been given to the people, if those laws 
were right and just. 

When Jesus came out of the water after His 
baptism, He prayed to God, and the place was full 
of light; while the Spirit of the Heavenly Father 
thrilled all hearts, so that they knew that Jesus 
was the Son of God. 

At this time our Lord was about thirty years of 
age. He had left His home and the mother whom 
He tenderly loved, to go forth and teach the people 
wherever He felt that He was most needed. The 
next few years of His life were crowded full of 
work and suffering such as no human being can 
fully understand, because it was the suffering of a 
perfect nature, and His love for the world was a 



greater love than any earthly heart is capable of 
feeling. 

It was John the Baptist's nearness to God 
which made him able to comprehend that Jesus 
was more than human. John himself had lived so 
close to the Heavenly Father that he had a clearer 
vision than would have been his had he simply 
gone to work as 




other men did, or 
studied the books 
that they studied, 
and it was his great 
mission to prepare 
the way for the Sav- 
ior — to make the 
people ready as far 
as possible. This 
was a grand and 
beautiful work. 

John the Baptist 
lived a noble life in 
every way ; he was 
not afraid to con- 
demn sin, whether 
the sinner was humble or powerful. He had 
even told Herod the king and Herodias his wife 
that they had done wrong. For this Herod 
had him put in prison ; but Herodias was not 
satisfied with his imprisonment, she wanted 
him to be put to death. Herod, however, was 



afraid to have him killed, because he feared the 
people. 

When Herod's birthday came he made a great 
feast, and the daughter of Herodias, who was 
named Salome, came in and danced before the 
king and his company, pleasing Herod so much 
that he told her he would grant her whatever 
request she made, even if she asked for the half of 
his kingdom. 

Then Salome, who had been told by her mother 
what to claim in fulfillment of the promise, asked 
for the head of John the Baptist to be brought to 
her upon a charger, or large platter. 

So, because the king had sworn to give her any- 
thing for which she asked, he caused John the 
Baptist to be beheaded and his head to be brought 
to Salome upon a charger. The young girl took 
this dreadful present to her mother, and the wicked 
queen rejoiced. 

Thus ended the life of the great preacher. His 
disciples came and took his body from the prison 
and buried it; but John's work was already done 
and his noble destiny was fulfilled. 




THE INFANT JESUS 



THE INFANT JESUS. 

The story of the 



Christ-child is the 
sweetest story in 
the world, and pic- 
tures of the infant 
Savior with the 
gentle Mary, His 
mother, are full of 
a grace and tender- 
ness and purity that 
appeal to all of us, 
from the youngest 
child to the most 
aged man. 

On that night 
when, in a lowly 
manger at Bethle- 
hem, Jesus was born, wondering shepherds came 
from the hills near by to worship Him; for they 
had seen a great light, and the angel of the Lord 
had appeared to them, saying, " Fear not, for I 
bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall 
be to all people. For unto you is born this day 
in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the 
Lord." He told them where they should find 
the holy child, and they made haste to seek Him 
and to tell the wonderful news in the city. 

Later, wise men from the East came with costly 
gifts to worship Him ; they had seen His Star, 




and had followed it, knowing that He was the 
Messiah for whom they had been waiting. 

But Herod, the wicked King of Judea, feared 
the new-born King, and sought to destroy Him ; so 
Joseph, who had been warned by an angel, took 
the child and His mother and went into Egypt, 
where they remained until the death of Herod. 
Then they came back and lived in the city of Naz- 
areth, and Jesus grew in wisdom, as well as in 
stature, living a perfectly pure and spotless life, 
because He was the Son of God. 




THE BOYHOOD OF JESUS. 

There are many beautiful stories of child-life, 
but the story of the Boyhood of Jesus is the most 
beautiful of all. It teaches a wonderful lesson 
of obedience to parents and love and respect for 
them, as well as of the charm of a pure and conse- 
crated childhood, and the lesson is all the more 
helpful because it is full of the human interest of 

everyday life. 

Although the boy 
Jesus was gifted 
with a wisdom far 
beyond His years 
— a wisdom which 
was His because 
He was the Son 
of God, yet He 
lived much as other 
boys lived, doing 
the tasks that were 
given Him by His 
parents and being 
subject to them in 
all things. 

Probably the 
people around Him did not think very much about 
what He said or did during those years. When 
they saw Him helping Joseph, the carpenter, or 
doing the little things which Mary, His mother, 
bade Him do, He seemed much like other little 




boys to them; they thought Him bright and pleas- 
ing, and it maybe that there was something in His 
looks and in His manner which puzzled them, 
which set them to thinking of holy things in a 
wondering way; but Mary was the only one who 
dwelt upon the mystery of His life with a constant 
prayerful questioning as to just what the meaning 
of it was. 

Mary treasured all His sayings in her heart and 
believed that the time would come when everyone 
would know that He was not simply an ordinary 
child like those around Him. 

After Joseph had brought his family back from 
Egypt because, now that Herod was dead, it was 
safe for them to come into their own country again, 
they lived in the city of Nazareth, and so the 
words of the old prophets were true, that Jesus, 
the Savior of the World, should be a Nazarene, or 
dweller in Nazareth. 

Every year the Jews held a feast at Jerusalem 
called the Feast of the Passover, in memory of the 
time when God passed over, or spared, His chosen 
people in Egypt, although He destroyed the first- 
born of the Egyptians. When Jesus was twelve 
years old He went to Jerusalem with Joseph and 
Mary to attend this feast. 

There were many of the relatives and friends of 
the family there, and when they started home after 
the feast, there was probably some confusion about 
getting the company under way, for they traveled 



in a train consisting of people on foot and mounted 
upon donkeys, and they had, of course, some need- 
ful provisions to take with them, together with the 
things which they had brought for their comfort 
upon the journey and during their stay in Jerusa- 
lem; and as the parents of Jesus did not think of 
His remaining behind, they neglected to look for 
Him, supposing 
He was some- 
where in the train ; 
so, when they had 
traveled for a day 
on the return trip, 
they were greatly 
surprised and 
troubled to find that 
He was missino-. 

They imme- 
diately started back 
for Jerusalem, 
wondering as they 
went what could 
have happened to 
their boy and fear^ 
ful about it; but after three anxious days they 
found Him in the temple talking with the learned 
men there, listening to their wise words, and 
asking questions which astonished everybody who 
heard them, because they were full of an under- 
standing of holy things that was not to be expected 




of a boy. When His parents had found Him, 
Mary said to Him, sorrowfully, "Son, why hast 
Thou dealt thus with us? Thy father and I have 
sought Thee sorrowing." 

Then Jesus turned to her with sad and gentle 
respect, and asked, "How is it that ye sought 
Me? Wist ye not" — that is, "Do you not know" 
— "that I must be about My Father's business?" 

Perhaps in these words He tried to give them 
an insight into the great meaning of His life; but 
they were puzzled, although Mary dimly felt all 
that He would have her understand. He did not 
at this time, however, explain to them further re- 
garding what was in His own heart. It may 
be that He did not yet fully comprehend just 
what He was to do. He had taken upon Him- 
self the human nature which He was to raise to 
something grander and nobler than human nature 
had ever been before, and in becoming a little child 
like other little children, perhaps it was God's plan 
that He should not yet have the judgment of a 
man in all things. 

However that may have been, He went back 
with His parents and obeyed them as before, for 
the time had not come for Him to leave them and 
begin His teaching, except as He taught by the 
force of a beautiful example. But that example 
formed a great part of the purpose for which He 
was sent into the world, because one of the noblest 
truths that He impressed upon humanity was the 



duty of children to parents. His own life taught 
this better than any sermon could have done, for 
in all the history of the world we have no better 
example of what a child's conduct should be 
toward his parents. It is the more beautiful 
because Jesus was not like other children, but, 
having the wisdom of God in His heart, was far 
better able to judge for Himself between right and 
wrong. 

During all these years Jesus grew in stature as 
well as in wisdom, and those around Him felt, 
without understanding it, that in some way He 
was different from the rest. The divinity of His 
nature could not be hidden, even in those early 
years, but it shone through all the small acts of 
everyday life, making them beautiful; while every 
one who knew Him was better and happier for 
coming near such a noble nature. 



THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. 

One day when a great multitude of people had 
gathered to hear the words of Jesus, He went up on 
the top of a mountain, and when His disciples had 
joined Him there, and the people had also followed, 
He taught them in one of the most wonderful ser- 
mons that have ever been preached. He said: 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall be 
comforted. 

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the 
earth. 

"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after 
righteousness, for they shall be filled. 

" Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain 
mercy. 

" Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall 
see God. 

" Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be 
called the children of God. 

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for 
righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of 
heaven." 

"Ye are the salt of the earth," He said to His 
disciples; and He also called them the light of the 
world and bade them let their light shine before 
men that others might see their good works and 
give the praise and glory to God. 

How full of truth are all these utterances ! Every- 
one should try to be a light to those around, that 
is, always to set a good example that it may help 



the people who are brought under its influence. 
Jesus said that He had come to fulfill — that is, to 
show the truth of all the good that had been taught 
before in the world; that He had not come to tear 
down, but to build up. 




He spoke strongly against hypocrisy, saying 
that His disciples must live far better lives than 
those of the Scribes and Pharisees, a class of peo- 
ple who were very desirous of being thought better 



40K 



than those around them, although in their hearts 
they were not good. 

He also taught them the beauty of a forgiving 
disposition, bidding them pray even for their ene- 
mies. He bade them be charitable and always 
thoughtful for the poor, to lay up treasures in 
Heaven and not care too much about the good 
things of this life, although Christ Himself always 
liked to see people happy, and encouraged all 
harmless enjoyment; but He held the life to come 
so much higher than this life that He wanted all 
people to try and prepare themselves for it, as 
though this life were merely a school which, how- 
ever happy or sad it might be, was fitting humanity 
for a much longer period of existence beyond. 

He bade them trust in God, who would care for 
them as He cared for the lilies of the field and the 
birds of the air, and He said that if they prayed 
with faith and sincerity, God would answer their 
prayers and give them all that they really needed 
of the good things of earth. 

The way to Heaven, He said, was a narrow way; 
that is, wrong doing is so much easier than right 
that the path of right often seems hard and bounded 
by fields of wickedness on either side, which appear 
very pleasant and tempting, so that one wishes to 
step aside into them ; while the way of sin is broad 
and smooth, and very easy to walk in, especially at 
first. 

Jesus spoke very strongly against judging others 



for their wrong doings, or the things which 
appear wrong in them. 

"Why beholdest thou the mote in thy brother's 
eye?" He asked, "but considerest not the beam 
that is in thine own eye?" That is, why should 
a person see the wrong in another and fail to see 
the evil in his own heart? 

"Thou hypocrite," He said, "first cast out the 
beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see 
clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." 

Jesus taught many more great truths in this 
wonderful sermon. All things which are needful 
for a true and pure and holy life, He explained in 
words of power and wisdom. It was such a grand 
and complete view of what human life should be, 
that never in all the history of the world before or 
since has any plan so perfect been laid down for 
the guidance of humanity. 

The people were astonished when they heard 
these noble words, and they looked upon Him with 
awe because he spoke as one inspired and as 
though He were conscious of an authority from 
Heaven itself. 



JESUS CALMS THE TEMPEST. 

At one time when Jesus had entered a ship to 

cross the Sea of Galilee with His disciples, a great 

storm arose and the waves nearly covered the little 

vessel, so that they were apparently in great danger. 

The disciples were frightened, but Jesus was 

asleep and the 
storm did not 
disturb Him. 
As it orrew worse 
and worse and 
the disciples be- 
came more than 
ever afraid, they 
went back to 
where Jesus lay 
and wakened 
Him, crying out, 
"Master, dost 
Thou not care 
that we perish?" 
When they 
said this, Jesus 
arose and spoke 
to the winds and the sea, saying, "Peace, be still!" 
Then at once the wind went down and the sea be- 
came calm, and the hearts of the men were filled 
with wonder and still greater faith and awe, while 
they said to one another, "What manner of man is 
this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" 




They had not yet learned that Jesus had power 
over all things whenever He chose to exercise it. 

At another time when the disciples had crossed 
the Sea of Galilee, expecting that Jesus would join 
them upon the other side, a storm came up, suddenly 
as before, and the waters were quickly piled up in 
great waves ; for the lake was narrow and deep, and 
the storms usually burst in full fury with little 




warning, doing much harm before there was a 
chance to escape. At this time the disciples had 
hard work to row the boat against the wind, and it 
was tossed about here and there by the waves in 
the middle of the sea until, toward morning, Jesus 
went out toward it, walking upon the water. 

When the disciples saw Him coming they 



thought it was a spirit and were frightened; but 
He spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer; it 
is I, be not afraid." 

Then Peter said: "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me 
come unto Thee on the water." 

Jesus said, "Come," and Peter stepped out upon 
the water and started toward the Master ; but his 
faith was not strong enough, and as he began to 
sink he cried, "Lord, save me!" 

Jesus stretched out His hand and held him up. 
"O thou of little faith," He said, "wherefore didst 
thou doubt?" 

When Jesus came into the boat the storm ceased, 
and soon they reached the shore. Then the dis- 
ciples worshiped Him and said, "Of a truth Thou 
art the Son of God." 



RAISING THE DAUGHTER OF JAIRUS. 

Jesus did so many wonderful works that if all 
were told it would take whole books to describe 
them. He performed miraculous cures, even heal- 
ing people of that terrible and deadly disease, 
leprosy, restoring sight to the blind, giving cripples 

the power to 
walk again, send- 
ing the healthy, 
life-giving blood 
through palsied 
hands, bringing 
back to sound 
judgment the 
poor, demented 
minds of the in- 
sane, and grant- 
ing health to the 
souls as well as 
l to the bodies of 
those who be- 
lieved in Him. 
He also restored 
to life some who had died before His healing 
hands were laid upon them. 

The raising of Lazarus was one of those great 
miracles. Jesus also gave back to life again the 
son of the poor widow of Nain, whom she had 
[mourned as lost to her forever in this world, and 
when one of the rulers of the synagogue, or Jewish 




place of worship, came to Him and fell at His feet 
saying, "My little daughter lieth at the point of 
death; I pray Thee come and lay Thy hands on 
her that she may be healed," Jesus started at once 
to answer his prayer. 

But so many crowded around Him as He went 
that He was very much delayed, and before He 
had reached the ruler's house a messenger came 
and said to Jairus: "Thy daughter is dead; why 
troublest thou the Master any further?" 

But Jesus heard this and said to Jairus, " Be 
not afraid, only believe." 

When they came to the ruler's house they found 
a great many people gathered there, mourning and 
weeping; but Jesus said, "Weep not; she is not 
dead, but sleepeth." 

They laughed at Him for this, because they 
thought He did not know what He was talking 
about, and that there was no hope; but Jesus put 
the crowd out, and taking with Him only the par- 
ents of the child and Peter, James, and John, He 
went into the room where the child was lying. 
Then, taking her by the hand, He said, "Maid, 
arise!" At once life came back, and the parents 
rejoiced to clasp their daughter in their arms once 
more. 

What a marvelous thing this was ! Probably 
the father and mother could hardly realize their 
great happiness when they saw, restored to health 
again, the little girl who a moment before had lain 




THE GOOD SAMARITAN 



there still and cold in death. How they must 
have loved the Man who had given them back 
again this precious treasure! 

But Christ gave to all His people even more 
than the treasure of life. He gave them an im- 
mortal hope and a promise that is dearer than the 
promise of any earthly joy — the promise of a life 
and love that shall be eternal. 



oocoooo^ 




40L 



FEEDING THE MULTITUDES. 

Jesus had chosen twelve out of the many who 
flocked about Him wishing to be His disciples, 
and these twelve were called apostles. He sent 
them forth to preach the gospel, giving them power 
to cast out evil spirits and to heal diseases; and 
when they were about to go forth upon their mis- 
sion, He gave them instructions regarding what 
they were to do, and warned them of the persecu- 
tions which would be heaped upon them. He 
also bade them be strong and not fear those who 
had power to kill the body only, because the soul 
was far more precious. So the apostles went out 
into the cities and towns and preached the word of 
God and carried blessing with them. 

When they came back they told Jesus what 
they had done, and they went with Him across the 
sea of Galilee to a quiet spot where they could rest 
and talk over their work. 

But the people went around the sea, or lake, 
to join them on the other side; and when Jesus 
saw the crowds He was sorry for them, and taught 
and healed them again as He had done so many 
times. 

In the evening His disciples urged Him to send 
the people away that they might buy food for them- 
selves in the village; but Jesus said, "Give ye 
them to eat." 

The disciples thought this would be impossible. 
"We have here but five loaves and two fishes," 



they told Him; and when He said, " Bring them 
hither to Me," they obeyed Him with wonder. 

Then Jesus commanded the people to sit down 
in groups upon the green grass; and He took the 
loaves and gave thanks to God for them, and 
broke them into pieces, handing them to His dis- 
ciples to give to the people. 

He divided the fishes also in the same way, and 
the disciples went about among the groups giving 




each person a share, and everyone had enough to 
eat; for although there were about five thousand 
men there, besides women and children, the food 
was sufficient for all. Even more than this, when 
the multitude had eaten all that they wanted, the 
disciples gathered up twelve baskets full of the 
broken pieces. 

When the people saw this wonderful miracle 



which Jesus had done, they wished to make Him 
king at once, for they thought He was the Prom- 
ised One for whom they had been so long waiting, 
and they did not know that the kingdom of Christ 
was not to be an earthly kingdom. 

But Jesus would not allow them to make Him 
king, and He left them and went up on the top of 
a mountain alone. 

On another occasion when a great crowd had 
gathered to hear Him and had been for a long 
time without food, He called His disciples to Him 
and told them that He felt very sorry for the peo- 
ple because they had been fasting three days, and 
He could not send them away so weak and hungry 
for fear they would faint before they could reach 
home. 

But His disciples said they did not know where 
they could get food for so many, as they were in 
the wilderness. 

Jesus asked them how many loaves of bread they 
had, and they told Him seven, and also a few 
small fishes. . 

Then Jesus bade the people sit down on the 
ground around Him, and He took the seven loaves 
and the fishes and offered thanks to God; after- 
wards, He broke the loaves into pieces as He had 
done before and gave them, with the fishes, to His 
disciples, and the disciples distributed them among 
the people. As they gave out the food it continued 
to increase wonderfully, so that all the people were 



fed; and even after that there was food enough left 
so that they took up seven baskets full, although 
about four thousand men, with many women and 
children, had eaten. 

These miracles show not only the power of our 
Lord, but His tenderness and thoughtfulness for 
those around Him in the everyday affairs of life. 
He not only cared for the souls of His people, but 
for their physical comfort as well; for His heart 
was ever open to the cry of human need. 

One of the first acts by which He manifested 
His power to the men who afterwards became His 
disciples, was an act of helpfulness. 

He saw two ships by the Lake of Gennesaret 
with the fishermen near by washing their nets, and 
going aboard one of the ships, which belonged to 
Simon Peter, He asked him to put out a little way 
from land; then, when His request had been com- 
plied with, He taught the people from the ship. 

After He had finished His teaching, He said to 
Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down 
your nets for a draught." Simon told Him that 
they had worked all night and had caught no fish, 
but that they would do as He bade them. 

And when they had done so, the net was filled 
so that it broke, and they had to call to their part- 
ners in the other ship to come and help them; and 
both ships were filled. Then Peter and James 
and John left all to follow Jesus. 



LORD, HELP ME." 

Although 
Jesus led such 
a beautiful 
1|£?r life, and was 
always help- 
ing others, yet 
there were 
people who 
found fault 
with every- 
thing that He 
did and who 
seemed to 
%y hate Him in 
^ spite of His 
^^ goodness. 

Some of 
the Jews, 
even, who should have loved Him because they 
were His own people, were very unkind to Him, 
and tried to make Him unhappy ; so that after 
a while Jesus went away from them and began to 
teach the Gentiles, who knew very little of God, 
although these people had heard of the wonderful 
things that Jesus had done, and many of them 
believed in Him and loved Him. 

One day, a woman of the Gentiles came to our 
Lord and begged Him to help her daughter, who 
was very ill. At first He did not answer, and 




His disciples begged Him to send the woman 
away. Then He said to them, "I am not sent 
but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel," for 
He wanted them to understand that He had come 
into the world to save all who believed in Him. 

When the woman heard His words, she came 
nearer, and worshipped Him, crying out, "Lord, 
help me!" 

But Jesus said : " It is not meet to take the 
children's bread and cast it to the dogs." He 
meant by this that the Gentiles did not believe in 
God, and so were not the children of the Master's 
household. 

But the poor woman said: "Truth, Lord; yet 
the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their mas- 
ter's table." When Jesus saw what faith she had 
in Him, He said : "O woman, great is thy faith! 
Be it unto thee as thou wilt." And when she 
went home she found that her daughter was cured. 

Is not this a beautiful example of Christ's love 
and mercy? He was always glad to heal the sick 
and comfort the sorrowing, and no matter how 
hard He had been laboring in His work of teach- 
ing the world and making people better and 
happier, when the poor, unfortunate ones were 
brought to Him, He was ready to give them of 
His strength, and restore them to health again 
through His divine power. 



THE GOOD SAMARITAN 

Christ often taught the people by telling them 
stories which pointed out the right way to act. 
These stories are called parables. 

At one time when He was teaching, a lawyer 




asked what he should do to gain eternal life. Jesus 
asked him what was written in the law, meaning by 
this, the law which Moses had given. The lawyer 
answered : 

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 



heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy 
strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor 
as thyself." 

Jesus told him that he had given the right an- 
swer, and that if he did all this, he should have 
eternal life. But the lawyer was not satisfied, and 
asked, "Who is my neighbor?" 

Then Jesus gave the parable, or story, of the 
Good Samaritan. The story was about a man who 
went from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked 
by thieves, who wounded him and took his clothing 
from him, and then went away, leaving him nearly 
dead. 

After a while, as the poor man lay there, a priest 
came along and looked at him. He passed by on 
the other side, however, without offering his help, 
or stopping to see whether the man would live or die. 

Then a Levite, or assistant to the priest, came 
to the place; but he also went by without doing 
anything for the sufferer. 

Then, at last, a Samaritan, who belonged to a 
class of people not very well liked by the Jews, 
came that way as he was journeying through the 
country, and when he saw the man, he was sorry 
for him; so he dismounted from his horse and went 
up to him, and when he found how badly he was 
hurt, he bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and 



4UM 



wine, as they did in those days, and tried to make 
him as comfortable as possible. 

Then he lifted the man upon his own horse and 
held him there, walking on beside him, until they 
came to an inn. The landlord came out, and they 




took the poor man in and cared for him, doing 
everything that could be done for him, and the next 
day the Good Samaritan paid the inn-keeper for 
what he had done, and told him to go on caring 
for the sufferer until he was well, and that he him- 
self would pay for that also. 



"Which, now, of these three," Jesus asked, 
when He had finished the story, "was neighbor 
unto him that fell among thieves?" 

"He that showed mercy on him," the lawyer 
answered. 

Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." 

This made the lawyer understand better, per- 
haps, than a long sermon could have done, just what 
was meant by the words of the old law, which he 
had known all his life, but had thought very little 
about. 




THE GOOD SHEPHERD. 






Christ said: 
" I am the Good 
Shepherd. The 
Good Shepherd 
giveth His life 
for the sheep." 

The mountains 
of Palestine were 
very wild and 
lonely, and it was 
hard to take care 
of the sheep in 
such pastures; 
but the shep- 
herds were usu- 
ally brave and 
faithful men, and often they lost their lives in car- 
ing for their flocks, because they could not always 
frighten away robbers and wolves. 

Sometimes a little lamb strayed away from the 
rest of the flock and got quite a distance from the 
shepherd before it was missed; then he would have 
to search for it and bring it back again. 

When he started upon this search he would call 
the little lamb by its name, very gently and lov- 
ingly, because he did not wish to frighten it; and 
he would go on and on, calling to it and looking 
carefullv around until he found it; and then he 
would take the little frightened creature up in his 




arms and carry it back, while it nestled close to 
him, so glad and happy to be safe again. 

When little children wander out of the fold of 
Jesus' love, He seeks them in just such a tender 
and loving way, bringing them back carefully and 
gently, and they are as glad to get back as the 
little lambs were; for they are really Jesus' little 
lambs, and their place is close to His side. 

The Bible often speaks of God's people as sheep. 
In one place it says, "For He is our God; and we 
are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of 
His hand." 

Again it says, "All we like sheep have gone 
astray." And when Christ asks Peter if he loves 
Him, and Peter replies, " Lord, Thou knowest all 
things; Thou knowest that I love Thee," Jesus 
says to him, "Feed My sheep." And He also says 
to him, "Feed My lambs." 

The Bible tells us, " He shall feed His flock like a 
shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, 
and carry them in His bosom." How safe the 
little lambs must be with such tender care as that. 

One of the most beautiful of the Psalms of 
David is the one beginning, "The Lord is my 
shepherd; I shall not want." How much those 
words mean! They mean that God will care for 
His children as a good shepherd cares for his 
flock, only the care will be better than that which 
any human shepherd could give, because the Lord 
is Infinite in power. 



THE HOME THAT JESUS LOVED. 

How sweet it must have been to have the friend- 
ship of Jesus. Of course Jesus was a friend to 
every one, and His life was spent in doing good, 
even to those who hated Him. But to feel that 
this great and holy Man was a friend in the human 
meaning of the word — to be able to sit at His feet 

i and talk to Him in 
one's own home; 
to wait upon Him 
and think that He 
could rest for a 
little while beneath 
one's own roof; to 
have Him sitting 
at your table, talk- 
ing in His kind 
and gentle way, 
and to feel that He 
i was a personal 
friend, as your 
earthly friends are 
— this must have 
been a most won- 
*=^ derful experience. 




Jesus was such a friend to Mary and Martha 
and their brother Lazarus, and the little home in 
Bethany, where these three lived, was one of the 
dearest places in the world to Him. He went 
there as frequently as His duties permitted, and 



had many pleasant visits with His three friends, 
who loved Him dearly and were always true to 
Him. 

Martha was the chief housekeeper. She was 
very particular that everything should be done in 
just the best manner; she was, perhaps, a little 
over-particular in some ways, and occasionally 
chided her sister Mary for not thinking enough 
about material matters. She was, perhaps, afraid 
also that Jesus would think they were not doing 
enough in His honor; and so one day she said to 
Him, "Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister 
hath left me to serve alone? Bid her that she 
help me." 

But Jesus answered: "Martha, Martha, thou art 
careful and troubled about many things; but one 
thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good 
part, which shall not be taken away from her." 

He did not say this because He wished Martha 
to have all the work to do, but because He did not 
care to have them do so much for His physical 
comfort. He knew that the important things of 
life were the spiritual things, and was glad that 
Mary had seen this. 

But a great trouble came upon the little home 
at Bethany. Lazarus, whom his sisters loved so 
dearly and whom Jesus also loved like a brother, 
was taken ill, and Martha and Mary sent this 
word to Jesus: "Lord, he whom Thou lovest is 
sick." They knew that Jesus healed the sick and 



helped the suffering, and probably they sent this 
word with perfect faith that their brother would be 
at once restored to health. But this was not the 
will of our Savior. He had a still greater work to 
do for this simple family, in whose home He had 
spent some of the most peaceful hours of His life, 
and although they waited and looked for Him 
anxiously, it was 
two days before 
He came to 
Bethany. 

In the mean- ^-7 
time Lazarus 
died and Martha 
and Mary were 
heart-broken. 
But before Je- 
sus had heard in 
any way of the !|j 
death of His 
friend, He knew 
that it had taken 
place, and told 
His disciples 
about it; and He 
Bethany. 

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she 
went out to meet Him, and when she came up to 
Him she said, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my 
brother had not died." Then Jesus said to her, 




said that they would go to 







B^tMM 




THE PRODIGAL SON 



"Thy brother shall rise again." But Martha 
thought he meant at the final resurrection. 

Alary, also, when she learned that Jesus was com- 
ing, went out to Him weeping, and said as her 
sister had said, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, 
my brother had not died." 

Jesus was greatly moved when He saw her 
grief and that of those who were with her, for many 
friends had come to comfort the sisters in their sor- 
row, and He asked to see Lazarus. When He 
stood at the tomb, Jesus also wept, and the others 
said, "Behold how He loved him!" But they 
wondered that He could do so many miracles and 
that He could not have prevented the death of His 
friend. They did not understand that a greater 
miracle than the healing of the sick was now to take 
place. 

Jesus commanded them to roll away the stone 
from the tomb, and when they had done so He 
cried, " Lazarus, come forth!" 

The people held their breath in awe, and their 
hearts almost stopped beating for a moment, and 
then Lazarus came out of his tomb. Axrer a mo- 
ment of awe-struck silence, they crowded around 
him rejoicing, and there were tears of love and 
gratitude, while the hearts of all were filled with 
amazement at this marvelous thing which our Lord 
had done. 

Many of the Jews who saw it believed on Him, 
even though thev had doubted before; but others 



tried to cause trouble, thinking that He would 
make all the people love Him and believe that He 
was the Lord; and they were afraid that this would 
take away their own power. Then Caiaphas, who 
was the high priest that year, prophesied that Jesus 
should suffer death for the nation and should gather 
the children of God together. So they began to 
plan His death, and Jesus went away into another 
country to escape them. 

But just before the Feast of the Passover He 
returned to Bethany, and they made a supper in 
His honor. Lazarus, whom He had raised from 
the dead, was there, and Martha served ; while Mary 
took a pound of very costly ointment and put it 
upon the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her long 
hair, because she wanted so much to show her love 
for Him and her gratitude. 

Judas, that wicked ^disciple who afterwards gave 
the Master up to His enemies, found fault with 
what Mary had done, because he said the ointment 
might have been sold and the money given to the 
poor. He did not care at all for the poor, but he 
carried the bag in which the collections were put 
and thought he could take the money and use it 
for himself. Jesus, however, would not let him 
blame Mary. "The poor ye have always with 
you," He said; "but Me ye have not always." 

On the next day, when the people who had 
gathered for the great feast at Jerusalem, heard that 
Jesus was coming to the city, large numbers of 



them gathered the branches of palm trees and 
went out to meet Him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed 
is the king of Israel that cometh in the name of the 
Lord." 

And Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, 
the people throwing some of their garments as well 
as the palm branches, across the way for Him to 
pass over, and He taught them as He had so 
often done; but He knew that the end of His life 
was very near. 

How hard it must have been for Him to go on 
with His work, to accept the honors that were 
showered upon Him with the same quiet, kingly 
dignity which He had ever shown, realizing all the 
time that the suffering which was to come would 
be made the more bitter because of these demon- 
strations of love and respect and reverence and 
faith! 

But it was a part of His mission to bear all the 
humiliations which evil minds could devise, and 
this present triumph would increase the weight 
of the coming burden; so He accepted it, as He 
accepted every incident of His experience, with 
the gentle, enduring patience which was one of the 
greatest proofs of His divinity, and He went on 
with a steadfast and more than mortal strength, 
toward the completion of His sublime destiny. 



THE LOST SHEEP. 

The parable, or story, of the Lost Sheep, is one 
which Christ told to make the people understand 
that God is always ready to receive back those of 
His children who have strayed away from Him, if 
only they are truly sorry and want to come back 
and be forgiven. 

Jesus said, "What man of you, having an hun- 
dred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave 
the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after 
that which is lost, until he find it? And when he 
hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, re- 
joicing. And when he cometh home he calleth 
together his friends and neighbors, saying unto 
them, ' Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep 
which was lost." And Jesus said that there was 
more joy in Heaven over one repentant sinner than 
over ninety-nine persons who had never done 
wrong, and so had never been shut out from the 
kingdom of Heaven. 

How beautiful the thought of God's mercy is ! 
And it shows us that we have no right to judge 
people, even if we know that they have sinned; 
and we have no right to say that they cannot be 
forgiven because they have been so bad, for Christ 
tells us in this little story that if they repent, there 
is rejoicing in Heaven. 



THE PRODIGAL SON. 

To teach the same lesson Jesus told the story 
of the Prodigal Son. It is about a man who had 
two sons, the younger of whom asked for his por- 
tion of his father's property, and then went away 
to another country and spent it all foolishly. After- 
ward the young man saw how wicked his conduct 
had been, and resolved to go home and ask to be 
received back as a servant. 

But when his father saw him, he came out to 
meet him and took him in his arms and kissed him. 
Then he made a great feast for him, killing the 
fatted calf and doing everything he could to show 
his joy. 

The elder brother thought this unfair; but the 
father said to him, "Son, thou art ever with me, 
and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we 
should make merry and be glad; for this thy 
brother was dead, and is alive again; and was 
lost and is found." 

These stories do not mean that God loves us 
better if we do wrong, or that He approves of 
wrong-doing, but that, if we truly repent of our 
sins, even the angels rejoice to see that we wish to 
serve God again and be His children, and they 
are ready to welcome us back into His service. 



CHRIST BLESSING LITTLE 
CHILDREN. 

The New Testament is full of the love of Christ 
for His people. It is not just the prosperous and 
happy that He loves, either; it is the weak and ill 
and poor as well, those who are treated unkindly 
and are not happy. 

But more than all others, Christ seemed to love 







the little children. Many of them were brought 
to Him that He mi^ht take them in His arms and 
bless them, and He was always glad to do this. 

His disciples feared that it would annoy Him 
to have so many people come with their children 
when He was so busy with teaching and healing 
the sick, and they told the crowds to stay away. 



But Christ said, "Suffer the little children to come 
unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the 
kingdom of God." 

He also said, "Verily I say unto you, Whoso- 
ever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a 
little child, he shall not enter therein." He meant 
by this that every one must be pure of heart and 
trust in God as little children do, in order to be 
near God and in perfect sympathy with Him. 

It is a beautiful thought that Christ watches 
over the little children and takes care of them, and 
that He knows every sorrow that comes to them 
and is always ready to sympathize and help. He 
blesses them now just as truly as when He was here 
on earth. 




CHRIST IS RISEN. 

The story of the life of Jesus is full of interest 
from the beginning 1 to the end, but the closing 
scenes of it are rich in strength and pathos. This 
quiet and beautiful Soul, with the divinity of God 
glowing through it, is the most wonderful and in- 
spiring study 
which any hu- 
man being can 



taki 




great 



: up. So 
is the 
power of truth 
and purity in it 
that men who 
have been un- 
believers when 
they com- 
menced the 
study, have 
ended by ac- 
cepting Christ 
as the Son of 
God and the 
Redeemer, of 
the World, as well as the grandest and noblest man 
who ever lived, and the one perfect example of the 
life which God intended for His children. 

All along during the years of His ministry and 
while He was working and praying and suffering 
for the people whom He loved, Jesus knew what the 



end was to be — He knew that He must be perse- 
cuted to the extent possible for evil minds to plan, 
and that He must die a disgraceful death and be 
buried as an imposter; but He knew also that fol- 
lowing this shame and agony, would come the tri- 
umph of truth, and the salvation of humanity. 

With this knowledge and divine strength of soul, 
which were His because He was the Son of God, 
and with the human pity and understanding that 
were His because of His human mother, He was 
capable of a life and work which no other inheritance 
could have made possible; and His mission was 
carried out to grand completion, leaving a precious 
heritage to the world for which He lived and died. 

Christ foretold His death and resurrection more 
than once before His disciples had any idea of 
what was coming. He made His preparations for 
leaving them and chose seventy more of His dis^ 
ciples, besides the twelve already mentioned, teach- 
ing them in all things that they might go out into 
the cities and villages and preach the gospel, also 
healing the sick and comforting the sorrowful as He 
had done. 

When the time came for the feast of the Passover, 
Jesus sent Peter and John into the city to prepare 
a place in which they might celebrate it, and in the 
evening He came with His Apostles and sat down 
to the feast with them in the chamber where it had 
been spread. There He taught them many things 
which they understood after His death, although at 



40O 



the time the meaning was not so plain, Jesus also 
said that one who sat there with Him should betray 
him. The apostles were very sorrowful when they 
heard this, and wondered whom He could mean; 
but they did not know 
that He referred to Judas 
Iscariot. 

After a time Judas 
went out and left the 
eleven with the Master, 
who told them that they 
would all forsake Him 
that night; but Peter 
said, "Lord, I will lay 
down my life for Thy 
sake." Probably Peter 
fully meant what he said; 
but Jesus knew how 
weak human nature is, 
and He answered, 
"Verily, I say unto thee, 
this night before the cock 
crow, thou shalt deny 
Me thrice." 

Peter was grieved at this, because he loved the 
Master very dearly, and was really very faithful to 
Him, and again he declared that although he should 
die with Him he would not deny Him; the other 
disciples said the same. 

It was on this night that our Lord established 




what is now known as the Lord's supper, the Sacra- 
ment, the Holy Communion, or the Eucharist. He 
took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and He 
gave it to His disciples saying, " Take, eat, this is 
My body which is broken for you; do this in re- 
membrance of Me." Then He took the cup of un- 
fermented wine and gave thanks again and gave it 

to His discip- 
les, telling them 
to drink of it, 
for He said, 
"This is My 
blood which is 
shed for many 
for the remis- 
sion of sins 
Drink it in re- 
membrance of 
Me." 

After His 
death the dis- 
ciples faithfully 
observed this 
sacrament as all 




Christians do down to the present time. 

Before they left the house, Jesus spoke some 
comforting words of hope and promise to the men 
who loved Him so well, and then they went to the 
Mount of Olives where the Garden of Gethsemane 
was situated. There Jesus suffered great agony 



of spirit, praying to God for strength to bear the 
trial that He knew was close at hand; but His 
disciples slept, for they did not understand what 
was passing. 

To this garden Judas came, with a great crowd 
of people, some of them armed men who were to 
take Jesus prisoner. Judas had told them that he 
would kiss the one whom they were to seize, and 
when they had come near, he went up to Jesus and 
kissed Him, saying, "Hail, Master!" 

Then they took Him, and when one of His 
disciples resisted them, Jesus reproved him, say- 
ing, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My 
Father, and He shall presently give Me more 
than twelve leg-ions of angels? But how then 
shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must 
be?" 

So Jesus allowed Himself to be led away to 
Caiaphas, the high priest, and Peter followed at a 
distance and sat among the servants of the high 
priest when they had reached the palace, for he 
was anxious to see how it would all end. 

And while the high priest and those with him 
were trying to prove Jesus guilty of some crime 
which deserved death, some of the servants accused 
Peter of being in His company, and he denied it, 
for he was afraid. After he had denied three 
times that he knew the Master, he heard the cock 
crow, and remembering the words of Jesus, he 
went out of the palace and wept. He still loved 



the Man to whom he had proved unfaithful, but 
he had not been able to stand up bravely in the face 
of all those who were seeking the life of Jesus and 
say that he believed in Him. Later, however, 
Peter grew strong, and was ready to die for the 
Master's cause; and after preaching faithfully and 
suffering many hardships and a great deal of per- 
secution for that cause, 
he did finally die for it. 

Jesus had no fear 
of His enemies, who 
could not make Him 
say an unwise word. 
He was taken before 
Pontius Pilate, the 
Roman governor, and 
afterwards before 
Herod, the governor 
of Galilee, and both of 
them questioned Him 
closely. Herod even 
tried to make Him 
perform some miracle ; 
but Jesus remained 
silent and undemonstrative, and even when they 
heaped indignities upon Him, He was calm and 
kingly, with a strength that was the surest sign of 
the divinity in Him. 

At last He was sent back to Pilate again, and 
because the chief priests and many of the most 




powerful men demanded that He be crucified, 
Pilate at last gave them permission to do as they 
pleased. Then they took Him into a large hall 
and put a crown of thorns upon His head and a 
kingly robe upon Him, and they cried, "Hail, 
King of the Jews!" and mocked Him. 

At last they clothed Him in His own garments 

once more and led 
Him away to a 
place called Cal- 
vary, where they 
crucified Him. 
But even in the 
midst of His agony 
upon the cross, 
Jesus prayed, 
"Father, forgive 
them, for they know 
not what they do." 
So was the mor- 
tal life of our Sav- 
ior given up for 
the world that He 
loved. Before He 
died Jesus tenderly committed His mother to the 
care of John, His beloved disciple, and from that 
hour John looked upon her as his own mother, 
and was always like a son to her. 

There were earthquakes and many fearful sights 
and sounds during the time that Jesus hung upon 




the cross, and the wicked people were frightened, 
as well they might have been, for it was plain that 
He whom they had crucified was more than mortal. 

After the death of the Savior, some of those who 
loved Him took His body and tenderly prepared 
it for burial; then they carried it to a new sepul- 
chre where no one had ever before been buried, 
and there they laid it. 

But when they had buried the Master and 
sealed the tomb, the grave could not hold Him, 
On the third day He rose from the dead, as He 
had promised, and many who loved Him saw 
Him and knew that He was the Savior; while 
others saw Him also, and admitted that He was 
Jesus, who had been crucified. So the Scriptures 
were fulfilled, and Christ's great triumph was 
shown to the world; while the promise of eternal 
life which he had brought was given new meaning 
by His conquest of death. 



THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT. 

After His resurrection, Christ staid upon the 
earth forty days, and more than five hundred of 
His disciples saw Him during this time, recogniz- 
ing and worshiping Him. He also made known 
His divinity, saying, "All power is given to Me in 
Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach 

all nations, bap- 
tizing them in the 
name of the 
Father and of the 
Son and of the 
Holy Ghost; 
teaching them to 
observe all things 
whatsoever I 
have commanded 
you; and lo, I am 
with you alway, 
even unto the end 
of the world." 

When the forty 
days were ended 
Jesus went from 
Jerusalem with His apostles and led them to the 
Mount of Olives. There He talked with them, 
bidding them remain in Jerusalem until the Holy 
Spirit should be sent to them. 

And even as He was talking, they saw Him rise 
from the earth, and He was taken up into Heaven 





DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN 



and passed out of their sight, while they stood there 
upon the ground, wondering and believing. 

Then angels came and told them that Jesus 
should come again as they had seen Him pass from 
them. When they heard this the apostles went 
back to Jerusalem rejoicing, and they were often in 
the temple, where they gave thanks to God and 
praised Him for His great mercy and the revelation 
of His love which He had sent to the world. 

The Holy Spirit came to them, as Jesus had 
promised, and they were able to do wonderful things 
in the name of the Lord. They were not afraid of 
any evil that might befall them, for the strength 
of God was in their hearts, "And they went forth, 
and preached everywhere, the Lord working with 
them." 




40P 



THE APOSTLE PAUL. 

Before his conversion to the faith of Christ, Paul 
was called Saul, and he persecuted the Christians, 
believing that they- were doing wickedly and that 
he ought to punish them for it. 

But while he was in the midst of these persecu- 

s tions, and as he 
was journeying 
toward Damas- 
cus one day, he 
saw suddenly at 
noon-time, a light 
shining in the 
heavens which 
was greater than 
the light of the 
sun, and he and 
all that were with 
him fell to the 
earth in wonder 
and awe. Then 
Saul heard a 
voice speaking to 
him and saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest 
thou Me?" And Saul said, "Who art Thou, 
Lord?" And the voice answered, "I am Jesus, 
whom thou persecutest." 

Then Saul was instructed as to what he was to 
do, and was told that he would become a minister 
of Christ. From that time Paul preached and 




taught the Christian religion, and converted many- 
people to it. 

"But he was persecuted in his new work as he 
had persecuted others, being finally taken prisoner 
and threatened with scourging; he declared himself 
a Roman citizen, however, and therefore safe from 
such treatment, and went on openly confessing his 
faith and telling of his conversion, and he appealed 
for protection to the Roman emperor. 

He was then put on board a ship as a prisoner 
to be taken to Rome. While they were at sea a 
violent storm came up, and Paul warned the sailors 
that they were in great danger ; but they would not 
listen to him. At last the ship was wrecked, all 
on board being cast ashore upon an island, whither 
they had been carried, clinging to boards and 
broken pieces of the ship. 

The barbarous people of the island treated them 
kindly, building a fire that they might dry their 
clothing and get warm; for it was cold and they 
were, of course, drenched. 

The men were very glad to be safe once more; 
but a strange thing happened after a little: Paul 
gathered up an armful of sticks to put upon the 
fire, and as he placed them upon the flames, a 
viper, which is a kind of poisonous snake, came 
out of the bundle and clung to his hand; he 
shook it off into the fire, however, without the 
slightest sign of fear. 

Those who were about him thought that the 



hand would swell and that Paul would die from 
the effects of the bite, and they watched him 
closely, believing that this trouble was sent to him 
as a punishment for his sins. But no evil results 
came from the wound, and then the barbarians 
thought he was a god and looked upon him with 
great respect. 

Paul and the men who were with him remained 




upon the island for three months. At the end of 
that time they went away in a ship, finally reaching 
Rome, where the prisoners were given up to the 
authorities; but Paul was allowed to live by him- 
self, with only a soldier to guard him, and after 
a while he called the chief men of the Jews 
together and told them why he was there and 



preached to them the Word of God. His preach- 
ing was received by some with faith, but others 
did not believe. 

Paul went on preaching and teaching in Rome 
for two years, living in a house which he hired, 
and he brought many to Jesus. He was a man of 
excellent education and a powerful preacher. His 
Epistles, given 



in the Bible, are 
full of power and 
the fire of con- 
viction, and he 
did a wonder- 
ful work for the 
great cause in 
which he believed 
with all his heart. 
Paul was phys- 
ically small and 
deformed; but 
mentally he was 
a giant. He had 
been taught the 
knowledge of the 




Romans, and was therefore well fitted to take up 
this new cause in a manner which would appeal to 
educated people as well as to those who had no 
learning. 

From the time of his conversion until his death 
he labored faithfully in the ministry of Christ, fear- 



ing no persecution or hardship when he could do 
the Master's bidding and teach His holy will. The 
work which he did was a wonderful work, and his 
influence in the Christian world has been a very 
remarkable one. Brave, untiring, devoted to the 
cause of Christ, he at last lost his life in that cause, 
adding another to the list of martyrs whose mem- 
ory the world loves and reveres. 

The story of Paul's experiences reads like those 
tales of adventure which are so full of absorbing 
interest that when once they have been taken up, 
we do not feel like laying them down again until 
they are finished. 

This is true also of many others of the Bible 
stories, and great authors have taken their themes 
from them for the writing of books which have 
become famous. 

The more we study the Bible, the more wonder- 
ful it becomes, and the more we learn that in that 
marvelous book are set forth nearly all the experi- 
ences of which human life is capable, with the 
teaching which each of these experiences should 
bring and the lesson to be learned by the reading 
of them. In all the world there is not another 
collection so wonderful as this. 



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